Metanira was the queen of Eleusis in Greek mythology, wife of King Celeus. They had two sons, Triptolemus and Demophoon. She appeared in the myth of Demeter and her search for her lost daughter Persephone. While searching, Demeter took the form of an old woman named Doso and reached the court of Celeus and Metanira. There, she received a warm welcome by the royal couple and was asked to become a nurse for their baby son Demophoon. Demeter agreed, and not having revealed her true identity, decided to make Demophoon immortal, grateful for the hospitality she received. To do that, she had to burn away the mortal spirit of the baby in the flames of the family hearth. One night, though, while she was performing the ritual, Metanira woke up and upon seeing what was happening, started screaming. As a result, Demeter was enraged that mortals did not understand the divine ways and abandoned her plan to immortalise Demophoon. Instead, she chose to teach Triptolemus the art of agriculture, and he later taught it to the rest of the world.
See Also: Celeus, Triptolemus, Demophoon, Demeter, Persephone
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